Update post (September 21, 2018): Notch another successful prediction for Minnesota Litigator as Prof. Kristin Naca has lost her lawsuit against Macalester College on Macalester’s motion for summary judgment, discussed (and predicted) below. We also covered the case here and here.

The opinion by U.S. District Court Judge Patrick J. Schiltz (D. Minn.) granting Macalester’s motion includes some stinging criticism of Plaintiff’s counsel, as well, which comes as no surprise given the history of the case and the lawyer.

Before turning to the facts underlying the parties’ dispute, the Court pauses to note that it has been unusually challenging to determine whether Naca’s version of events is supported by evidence in the record because of two unfortunate tendencies of her counsel: First, he frequently asserts facts in his briefs with no record citation or with a citation to something that does not support the assertion (and may, in fact, be completely irrelevant to the assertion). Second, he often cites to the record in a manner that does not match the manner in which he organized his evidentiary submissions, making it difficult (and occasionally impossible) to locate the document or part of a document to which he is ostensibly referring.

In some small but persistent number of cases, it seems as if lawyers think they can bamboozle a court simply by making assertions and adding citations that have no relevance to the assertions. Courts and adversaries are not bamboozled, of course, but they are greatly burdened by the task of ferreting out the fallacies. There appears to be no remedy for genuine costs that this kind of lawyering imposes except for what the Judge did in this case, which is to impose a reputational penalty.

Original post (January 15, 2018): Time’s up. Our society has changed. The notion of “women’s rights” has evolved from a rallying cry of activists 100+ years ago to such a fundamental and widely shared value that the expression almost seems absurd.

Who on earth ever questioned that women should have equal rights? Was it once a controversial opinion that women treated equally to men? Was it widely accepted that women could be routinely objectified and sexualized without consequence? These questions are naive and rhetorical, of course. Our society’s struggle for equal rights for men and women is work-in-progress but times are changing.

And the change is not only about interactions between men and women.

A lot of exploitation that has been accepted for a very long time is now being exposed and rejected.

These thoughts come to mind as we consider the latest development in the case of former Macalester Professor Kristin Naca against Macalester college: the college’s motion for summary judgment. (For our earlier posts on the case, click this link.)

Professor Naca was fired for a sexual relationship with a student, initiated before graduation, consummated just after.

Or was she?

Professor Naca argues in the case that this was a pretext, that she was really fired due to a disability, a medical condition (that seemed quite nebulous to us as described at least in the college’s brief). Minnesota Litigator predictions: (1) Professor Naca will lose her lawsuit; and (2) society’s spotlight on the exploitation of power and authority in sexual relations has never been brighter and represents a powerful force of change.

 

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